Bill McCloskey is the founder of Only Influencers and eDataSource.

My Life as an Email Entrepreneur: My Final Article.


Last week, Rising Media, the company I partner with to produce the Email Innovations Summit, acquired Only Influencers, the Email Marketing Community I created in 2010. I will be transitioning the company over the next 6 months and then retiring for good from this industry that has been so good to...

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Unboxing eDataSource’s Inbox Tracker

Way back in 2004 when eDataSource first launched, it was conceived of as a competitive email tracking tool, the first of its kind. But they quickly discovered that clients really had no insight or intelligence into their own email campaigns, let alone their competitors. There was certainly no 3rd party monitoring...

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At the Crossroads of Email and UX: Five Optimization Factors Beyond Design


The Nielsen Norman defines User Experience (UX) as “encompassing all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products”. They sum it up with this kernel of wisdom: “the first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss...

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Unboxing: Campaign-Genius

Unboxing Campaign-Genius Campaign-Genius is a dynamic email tool based out of Seattle and is one of the entries of a growing category of real-time imaging tools such as Movable Ink and LiveClicker. It’s parent company, Say It Visually, was founded in 2008 and was a pioneer in the field of “Explainer...

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Talavera: What Makes for an Email Marketing Unicorn or Dream Team – and Do They Exist?


Now that email has been a legitimate marketing channel for two decades there’s an entire generation of professionals who have grown up with it and in it. In fact, they’ve never known marketing without email which has made for an interesting evolution – or is it merely urban legend?  The illusory...

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Unboxing: Kickbox


Kickbox is a email verification company based in Dallas, Tx, with offices in New York City and London.  An important differentiator is that Kickbox is GDPR compliant. The technology was developed by a core team of engineers who have been building anti-spam technology for the last 12 years, and have owned...

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Frady: ESP Marketing Stacks - Dead, Dying or Vibrant?

bob frady

One of the interesting developments in Martech has been the emergence of the ESP-centric marketing stack. Companies start off as email service providers then – because they have PII – start to say things like “wouldn’t it be great if we got customers to put ALL of their touchpoint efforts under one roof…let’s start gobbling up companies!” Companies then spend a lot of effort developing PowerPoints and videos that show a multi-touch, multi-channel customer marketing effort with customers so happy that it’s a no-brainer to buy into the vision.

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BEE | An email editor your users will love

            Give your users an email editor they will love.   400+ Paying customers ~500,000 Monthly user sessions 20 Languages supported       A make-vs-buy "no brainer" BEE Plugin is an AngularJS web plugin, easily and quickly embeddable in your SaaS application. It's highly configurable...

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Unboxing NeverBounce

NeverBounce is a Cleveland, OH based Email Verification company that began life as a digital marketing agency. 

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Mike Hillyer


Mike has over twelve years of experience in designing, deploying, and supporting some of the largest email sending environments in the world for many of the largest ESPs and brands out there. Specialties include platform audits, platform selection, installation, upgrades, and training in Message Systems and PowerMTA. Contact:, 443-472-7226

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Unboxing: MessageGears


MessageGears is an Atlanta-based ESP that works with large B2C Enterprise brands such as Expedia, Chick-fil-a, and Ebates. They have what they term a Hybrid system (that we will get into in a bit) which provides their main differentiation and selling point. They see the three main requirements for any ESP working with these types of clients to be:

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Unboxing: Fresh Relevance

This week, we are looking under the hood of Fresh Relevance, who provides real-time personalization and automation across email and web to optimize revenue for e-commerce companies. Based in the UK with US offices in Boston, they enable marketers to track all behavior in real-time and use this data to personalize the shoppers journey on all channels and devices. They boast about 550 websites using their technology.

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Mitchell: GDPR: EU’s New Privacy Law – Does It Affect You?


If your business collects personal data from people residing in the European Union, regardless of where in the world your business is based, then it’s most likely in progress with an implementation plan to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that comes into effect on May 25, 2018. If your business falls into the first bucket but hasn’t started yet, then it’s as late as being a 50-mile drive away from its best friend’s wedding that starts in 4 minutes.

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Unboxing: OneSpot InBox


Personalization has been a common term in the email industry for years. The theory is that if you customize and personalize an email message, the recipient is much more likely to engage with the content, more likely to open, and more likely to click through. The problem is that different people have different ideas what personalization means.

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Unboxing: Ongage

In today’s Unboxing article we look at Ongage, a seven year old profitable email marketing technology company based in Israel with corporate offices in New York City. Ongage has carved out a very unique niche for themselves in the email technology universe as an independent front end for ESP’s and SMTP’s with their sweet spot being the SMTP/MTA world which often lacks a front end of their own. It also allows you to integrate multiple SMTP’s into a single common interface. Let’s open it up and look under the hood, starting with the list of recommended vendors that Ongage has integrated with: 

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Unboxing: Movable Ink


For our first Unboxing article of 2018, we are going to examine dynamically generated content creation in email developed by Movable Ink. Look for a new Unboxing article each month. 

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First Annual 2017 Email Marketing Accomplishments Roundup


This year I asked the members of Only Influencers to brag about their accomplishments for 2017. The response was outstanding and we will be making this an annual event. So, here is what the members of email marketing community accomplished this year: 

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How to Write an Effective Marketing Automation RFP


To respond or not to respond is always the question. Some marketing automation platforms have taken the position that they will not respond to RFPs during the sales process because it is not the best use of their time. However, I believe that RFPs can be highly informative and useful during the procurement process as long as they are written with intention. As RFP season begins to wrap up, I took stock in the different RFPs that crossed my desk. I reviewed countless RFPs this quarter, some good, some bad, some 125 pages long and I realized that many brands have no idea how to write an RFP for a marketing automation platform, so a generic procurement RFP template is wordsmithed to reflect marketing automation language. Below are some surefire tips to make sure that a salesperson does not fall asleep reading your RFP.

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Is it time for a Marketing Automation Tune-Up?


It never fails that a few months before a brand marketer is due to renew their marketing automation contract, they reach out to tell me that they are secretly looking to switch to a new platform and want my opinion. After we have spent a little time talking about their current state, what they want out of their future state and the business goals they are looking to accomplish, we usually determine that their current platform meets their needs. However, one thing always stands out, they typically need what I refer to as a “Marketing Automation Tune-Up,” which, simply put, is just recalibration and adjustment to what they are currently doing.

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How to Change the World: Create Community


A few weeks ago I launched my latest Community, They say entrepreneurs want to change the world. That is a debatable statement. But one thing is clear, in my 20 years of being an entrepreneur the things that I have done that have literally changed the world all involved the communities I was involved with. Facilitating communication is one of the most powerful things you can do in your career as a digital marketer. So in honor of my 4th (most likely my last) community building effort, I thought I’d share what Ive learned over the last 20 years of the importance of community, the impact it can have, what makes a good community, and how to build one that engages and inspires people around the world. And perhaps even more importantly, how it changes you as not only a digital marketer, but as a human being. 

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